Stay with the fight

August 22, 2011|Chad Smith

“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them — every day begin the task anew.”

— Saint Francis de Sales

Ask me what I believe the difference between success and failure is, and I’d say it’s the inability to accept defeat.

Being stubborn isn’t always a bad thing. I’ve found that my most successful clients are the ones who absolutely don’t allow anything to get them off goal. If they have a less than stellar day of eating, they are right back at it the next day. If they miss a workout, they work harder at the next one.

My most successful clients don’t dwell on temporary setbacks, and sticking points. They realize that fitness is a marathon, not a sprint, and find a way through or around obstacles that could hinder their progress. They are hard-headed, stubborn sons of guns that will ... not ... quit.

That’s really the key. Not ever giving in until you get to where you want to be.

Consistent persistence is the main ingredient in the psychology of success. This is the most common trait of success not only for my clients but in all of the successful people I’ve read about, including real estate king Donald Trump, music producer Sean Combs, best-selling author and multi-millionaire entrepreneur Robert Kiyosaki and Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates.

This applies to any goal you might have, not just fitness. Trump, who is one of the most successful businessmen in history, hasn’t always been successful. He has made and lost millions of dollars several times over. In fact, The Guinness Book of Records lists him as having the biggest financial turnaround in history.

In an interview with Psychology Today, Trump said, “In the early 1990s, I owed billions of dollars and many people thought I was finished. I refused to give in to the negative circumstances and I never lost faith in myself. I didn’t believe I was finished even when the newspapers were saying so. I refused to give up. Defeat is not in my vocabulary.”

Defeat isn’t in his vocabulary. Can you imagine having that kind of attitude? What could you do?

I’m a huge fan of mixed martial arts fights, and I’ll often see a fighter I think is on his way to meeting the canvas get a win from a small opening he saw and took advantage of.

On the path to success, you will often have to find great endurance because you can expect to take more punches than you will throw. But when faced with an obstacle in your path, all it takes to knock it down is an opening and one good punch.

Stay in the fight. You have every ability to get where you want to go, you just have to stop accepting defeat and start expecting success.

If you want to lose weight, it’s actually pretty simple: Eat good, train hard; eat better, train harder.

I just summed up all 54,193 diet books available on in only eight words. Figure out what you have to do to get there, and do it consistently with tenacity, accepting that you will have hills and valleys on your way there.

Do what Trump, Combs, Kiyosaki and Gates did. They had a die-hard attitude about winning, and a severe dislike of failure. They had up periods, and some pretty painful down periods where they where either at failure’s doorstep or lying in failure’s house. They didn’t dwell on those situations. Instead they continued to look for openings, and threw a good punch to get back into the fight.

You can do the same thing. They aren’t any smarter or better than you. They just think differently. No matter what your goals are, no matter how bumpy the road might be, practicing consistent persistence will keep you on the road to success.

Chad Smith is a Hagerstown personal trainer. Visit his blog at

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